Take a Bite out of Mayo for a Real Taste of the West

Take a Bite out of Mayo for a Real Taste of the West

byMelanie May

Issue: January / February
Date: 2021
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Mayo enchants with its mystical landscapes, magnificent seascapes and marvellous experiences. Located along the Wild Atlantic Way, Mayo has the longest coastline of any county in Ireland with a bounty of beautiful beaches and idyllic islands. An invigorating and inspiring place, Mayo is home to the third-largest national park in Ireland (Wild Nephin Ballycroy), the most remote mountain in Ireland (Slieve Carr) and the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland (Great Western Greenway). It is the place to come for adventurous activities or relaxing respite and great local food.

Place and Space

The Mayo landscape provides plenty of things to do and opportunities for a phone full of photos. It inspires the heart and imbues the senses. But the landscape also infuses the food, which makes for a unique culinary experience, one that evokes a sense of place. A food memory to take away with you. One that will linger long and not languish on your camera roll.

 

The Island of Ireland is fertile, with arable land surrounded by rich seas. We are a land of plenty. In Mayo, the cold waters supply a bounty of seafood. The lush fields are home to grazing cows. Sheep forage high in the heather-covered mountains. The bays are bursting with shellfish.

This means you can tuck into flappingly fresh fish and the creamiest dairy products. The sheep high on the mountain graze the salty sprayed heather. The shellfish have subtle peaty notes thanks to the streams which flow down the surrounding mountains and bogs and make their way into the bays. Eating this local food, you cannot help but notice the contribution of the terroir. It evokes a deep connection with this rugged and remote place.

 

The food of Mayo tells the story of the land and also its people too. The beautiful food and drink products are lovingly created by passionate producers, fishermen and farmers, many of whom use traditional methods passed down through generations. They supply their produce to the local shops, cafes and restaurants where skilful butchers, bakers and chefs celebrate and re-imagine these indigenous ingredients.

 

To spread the word about this glorious food, these businesses and people throw open their doors to the community and visitors. They welcome you in and share the story of their family and their land through the dishes they serve. These dishes are reflective of the history of the Irish people and the island. It is in these places where you’ll enjoy an authentic cultural food experience. Where you can taste Mayo on a plate.

Who's who ?

  1. Ready to take a bite?

Let us introduce to you five passionate people in Mayo who are stewarding the local land, seas and food heritage.

 

  • Martina Calvey is a farmer of Blackface Mountain sheep and heads up Achill Mountain Lamb.
  • Hugh O’Malley is an oyster farmer and founder of Achill Oysters.
  • Sean Kelly is a butcher and owns Kelly’s of Newport.
  • Frankie Mallon is the chef-proprietor of An Port Mór restaurant in Westport.

 

Myles O’Brien is the chef-proprietor of The Tavern Bar & Restaurant in Murrisk.

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